General Rhode Island Trailer Laws & Regulations

When you are in Rhode Island, it's important to follow the trailer laws and regulations. Whether you are towing a trailer or driving one, there are certain rules that must be followed in order to keep everyone safe.

What Do I Need To Register A Homemade Trailer In Rhode Island?

Before towing your trailer on the roads, you will need to gather some documentation first. This includes a bill of sale or gift letter, proof of previous ownership (old registration or the title, depending on the age and GVWR of the trailer), proof that your vehicle is insured, carrying capacity, length of the trailer, as well as a completed TR-1 form and sales tax form.

Do all trailers need to be registered in RI? Trailers that were manufactured in 2001 or later, and have a GVWR of 3,001 pounds or more require a title. The forms you'll need are a bill of sale or gift letter, proof of previous ownership (old registration or the title, depending on the age and GVWR of the trailer), proof of insurance on the vehicle that will be towing the trailer, carrying capacity, length of the trailer, as well as a completed TR-1 form and sales tax form. You can find all these required forms by going onto our website under the “Forms & Fees” tab and selecting Registration Forms and Taxation Forms from there.

How do I register a trailer without a title in RI? Obtaining a bill of sale or gift letter from the seller is necessary to register the trailer. Likewise, you'll need evidence of ownership from the seller which can be displayed with a stamped sales receipt that includes the seller's name or an old registration in their name.

Rhode Island Trailer Laws & Regulations

Towing

A tow truck or any vehicle towing another, except when designed to be in tow together, cannot travel faster than the right-lane vehicles on a 2-lane highway. On a 3-or more lane highway, they are restricted to only the two right lanes.

Dimensions

The total length is 60 feet, the trailer's length isn't specified, and the width and height are 102 inches and 13 feet 6 inches respectively.

Brakes

Any trailer weighing 4,000 pounds or more must have brakes that can slow it down, stop it, and keep it in place. The brakes should be designed so the driver of the towing vehicle can activate them from their normal position, and they should also engage if the trailer becomes detached without warning. New trailers must have service brakes on all wheels.

All trailers must have adequate parking brakes to hold the vehicle steady on any grade, under all loading conditions, and on a dry surface.

Hitch and Signals

When towing one vehicle with another, the drawbar or other connection must be strong enough to pull the weight being towed. The maximum spans of these connections should not exceed 15 feet from one vehicle to another.

Mirrors

Any car that has so much stuff in it that the driver can't see out the back needs a mirror on the outside of the car. The driver should be able to see 200 feet behind them when they look in this mirror.

Lighting

Any trailer or vehicle being drawn at the end of a train of vehicles must have at least 1 tail lamp mounted on the rear, emitting a red light plainly visible from 500 feet away.

Speed Limits

This also applies to passenger cars and trucks.

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